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Long Term Empty Properties & the Empty Home Premium
Section 11B of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 allows local authorities in England to set an additional council tax rate for long-term empty properties. A 'long-term empty property' must have been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for at least two years. Some people know of this charge as the "empty homes premium".
The premium may be applied when a property has been empty for at least two years. The two year date is irrespective of how long its current owner has owned it. So if a purchaser buys a property which has already been empty for two years, they will become liable for the premium immediately. To end application of the premium the property must be brought back into use. If the property is occupied for a period of six weeks or less, it is regarded as not having been occupied for the purposes of calculating the two-year period.
With effect from 1 April 2021 the long term empty premium for properties empty more than 2 years is 100%. This means the Council Tax will be payable at the full rate plus an additional 100% charge. For properties empty more than 5 years the long term empty premium is 200%. The Council Tax will be payable at the full rate plus an additional 200% charge.
This means that those who are liable for a property currently listed as empty (which has been empty for over two years) will have to pay 200% of the council tax charge.
There are exceptions where the empty homes premium will not be applied, please refer to the Exemptions web page.